Every investment we make is measured on the basis of the level, quality, and safety of present and expected future cash flows. We view future returns as a byproduct of the price we pay today. In other words, a low current valuation on the basis of fundamentals such as dividends, earnings, book value, and revenues suggests a higher expected investment return down the road. We also insist on owning quality companies that are growing their businesses — those we believe have good management, good products and a competitive advantage in the markets they serve.
The Feinman Investment Group believes in diversification on many levels, yet we will never diversify your account for the sake of diversification or select investments because they fit neatly into a contrived style-box. Most of the client portfolios we manage are balanced between stocks, bonds, and cash equivalents.
When we allocate across the capital structure, we will consider an investor’s financial needs, objectives, time horizon and risk tolerance. The client portfolios we manage will typically own large and smaller capitalization securities, both domestic and foreign. For added diversification, we will typically incorporate index and active mutual funds and under certain circumstances may use third party, separate account managers. Here we insist on working with professionals who have a proven track record and share our same guiding investment principles.
Though value investing and proper diversification are often important risk mitigating factors, we believe they are not enough. We also think the behavior of the markets should be taken into consideration when allocating a client portfolio where the investment objective is long-term growth. Our process is based on a careful study of history and rational thought. It includes the use of intermediate and longer-term technical factors that help us confirm important up and down trends in the markets.
The Feinman Investment Group believes a financial advisor breaches one’s duty when there is a total disregard for changing market trends. To us, staying the course or remaining fully invested throughout a complete market cycle so as not to miss the best days or to precisely catch the eventual turn after completely suffering through a severe bear market is a marketing ploy on the part of Wall Street and a poor excuse for ignorance and laziness.
We offer various individual portfolios purely for long-term growth, and will be fully invested during bull markets. However, in a bear market, we will take decisive action and raise cash reserves— but only when our fundamental market measures are revealing unattractive stock valuations and therefore elevated risk.
Where the investment objective is a combination of growth and income, we will incorporate dividend paying and dividend growing common stocks of financially strong companies that tend to operate in less cyclical, non-competitive industries. Our growth and income individual portfolio will sometimes contain high yielding REITS, royalty trusts and publicly-traded master limited energy partnerships. Because we manage this individual portfolio with a goal of generating an increasing dividend income each year, we will remain fully invested over a complete market cycle.
For fixed income investors that require shorter-term liquidity, generally within a three-year time period, we often will build an individual portfolio of direct bonds. Here we will consider the current level and future predictability of the interest provided as well as the safe return of your principal within the targeted time horizon.
In most fixed income situations, we will own mutual funds. In these individual portfolios we will make tactical allocation adjustments by shifting exposure between more traditional and flexible fixed income styles. Our process is based upon an ongoing analysis of market trends and valuation metrics.
Traditional investments generally include mutual funds that hold high quality, intermediate-term government and corporate bonds. Flexible fixed income refers to more broad based, multi-sector and opportunistic mutual funds. These types of funds generally invest in foreign, high yield, convertibles, mortgage-backed securities and securitized loans. Some multi-sector funds may even own high dividend paying stocks at certain times.
While owning individual bonds outright tends to mitigate interest rate risk, we prefer a mutual fund structure in our fixed income client portfolios for several reasons. First, we believe an investor’s fixed income capital should be managed by seasoned professionals who specialize in such a large and complex segment of the securities market. Second, we feel that we can better diversify a client’s fixed income portfolio with mutual funds. And third, bid-ask spreads in the bond market can oftentimes be quite large, and institutional investors such as mutual funds have a far greater ability to execute transactions at more favorable terms for their shareholders.
In closing, we believe our extensive investment lineup can meet the diverse needs of most investors in a multitude of market conditions, whether they are looking for growth, income, or some balance. However, the Feinman Investment Group never attempts to be all things to all people. Be it stocks or bonds, our basic approach is value oriented and tactical. It is not high frequency trading, theme-based speculation, short-term market timing, or performance chasing. Our time horizon is multi-year, as we are more interested in earning absolute returns that meet a client’s long-term stated goals. Outperforming a relevant benchmark or index over a complete market cycle is a byproduct of the soundness of our long-term investment approach. We are in it for the long haul, and think and operate that way for our clients each and every day. And while we fully recognize that our investment approach is not for everyone, we are quite comfortable in our own skin and we do eat our own cooking.